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Polypore International, LP (Polypore) and Shanghai Energy New Materials Technology Co., Ltd. (SEMCORP) reached agreement in January 2021, through their respective subsidiaries, to establish a joint venture (JV) in China for dry-process membrane separator for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). The necessary regulatory approvals are complete and the JV has been established as Jiangxi Enpo New Materials Co., Ltd. in Gaoan City, Jiangxi Province, People's Republic of China.
Based on a license from Polypore's subsidiary Celgard, LLC (Celgard) for technology and intellectual property related to dry-process polypropylene (PP) separator, the JV will manufacture and sell quality, high-performance dry-process separator in China for LIBs used in energy storage systems (ESS) and electric-drive vehicles (EDVs).
Production is scheduled to start in 2022 with PP membrane capacity of 100 million m2/year. In the joint venture, PPO Energy Storage Materials HK Ltd. will have 49 percent of the equity contribution and SEMCORP will have 51 percent.
China has the world's largest and rapidly growing market for EDV and ESS applications. As many countries, including China, enact policies for decarbonization, significant growth is forecasted in these applications and the new JV is expected to capture this growing demand. The JV will leverage Celgard's advanced dry-process separator technology, quality control expertise and intellectual property rights with SEMCORP's large-scale operating capabilities and distribution channels in China.
"By joining Celgard's specialized knowledge in technology, processing, and material science together with SEMCORP's operational expertise in China, the joint venture will not only provide a wide range of solutions to customers but also stimulate further development of the LIB industry overall," said Celgard president, Lie Shi. "I am thrilled to begin this partnership with SEMCORP. The combination of our two companies' strengths will provide new solutions for the world's challenges related to the environment and energy."
"This joint venture will let us capture a huge opportunity in the ESS market with dry-process separator," adds SEMCORP Chairman and CEO Paul Xiaoming Lee. "By combining Celgard's state-of-the-art technology and know-how with SEMCORP's rich operational experience and track record of producing large-scale quality separator cost-competitively in China, this joint venture with Polypore will position us to be a revolutionary supplier of dry-process separator in China together.